A Newton man who carried out extensive cyberstalking campaigns, including one in which he shared his former housemate’s personal information with her co-workers, family, and friends, and who made over 120 hoax bomb threats to homes, schools, and businesses was sentenced to 17 years in prison by a federal judge in Boston Wednesday.
Ryan Lin, 25, pleaded guilty in April to seven counts of cyberstalking, nine counts of making hoax bomb threats, five counts of distribution of child pornography, three counts of computer fraud and abuse, and one count of aggravated identity theft, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office of Massachusetts.
On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge William Young sentenced Lin to prison, along with five years of supervised release, prosecutors said in a press release.
Between May 2016 and Oct. 5, 2017, Lin hacked into his 25-year-old female housemate’s online accounts and devices and dug through and stole her private photographs, information, and diary entries, which officials said “contained sensitive details about her medical, psychological and sexual history.” He then sent those materials to hundreds of people who know the woman, prosecutors said.
Last year, The Boston Globe reported that Lin disclosed that the woman had an abortion and sent excerpts from her journal along with pictures of her naked body to hundreds of people.
“Lin also created and posted fraudulent online profiles in the victim’s name and solicited rape fantasies, including a ‘gang bang,’ and other sexual activities, which in turn caused men to show up at the victim’s home,” officials said in the press release. “He also engaged in a number of other activities targeting the victim, including relentless anonymous text messaging and hoaxes.”
Lin’s attacks were not only coordinated against the woman, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
He also cyberstalked six other people, including two women who were also his housemates when he was arrested last October, prosecutors said. Others targeted received pornography of young children from Lin. Those victims are the mother of the 25-year-old woman; two of Lin’s former classmates in New York; a friend of the woman who lived in New Jersey; and one of the woman’s co-workers who was also her housemate.
Additionally, Lin repeatedly and falsely reported that there were bombs inside the woman’s Waltham residence, officials said. He also created a social media profile using the name of the woman’s housemate in Waltham and penned a post that said he was going to “‘shoot up’ a school in Waltham, stating that there would be ‘blood and corpses everywhere,'” the press release said.
The threats were made repeatedly in Waltham as well as other towns in the Greater Boston area and were made against homes, schools, and businesses, prosecutors said.
Lin has been in police custody since his arrest last year.